Thursday, 30 January 2014

Economic disparity pervades in the Philippines

 Call centers have been one of the biggest job providers in the Philippines. – Photo courtesy of welive2care

 Investing in right employable education is a must.

 A typical dump site shanty in Tondo, Manila.


THE YEAR 2013 marked the Philippines' record setting economic growth.

As the “Latest News On Philippine Economy” reported on its website, "The Philippine economy defied the economic slowdown in large parts of Asia to grow at a higher than expected annual rate 7.5% in the second quarter of 2013, riding on a resilient service sector and buoyant consumer and public spending".

While CNN reported that “the Philippine economy grew 7.1 % during the quarter -  the fastest growth in two years and the fastest pace in Asia next to China -- a strong sign that the Southeast Asian economy is building domestic growth rather than relying on exports”.

Wikipedia (Free Encyclopedia) on the other hand, has this to say: "The economy of the Philippines is the 40th largest in the world, according to 2012 International Monetary Fund (IMF) statistics and is also one of the emerging markets in the world.

“The Philippines is considered as a newly-industrialized country, which has been transitioning from being one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing.

The site also said: “According to HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation), the Philippine economy will become the 16th largest economy in the world, 5th largest economy in Asia and the largest economy in the Southeast Asia region by 2050.

Primary exports include semi-conductors, and electronic products, transport, equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products coconut oil and fruits.

Major trading partners include the US, Japan, China , Singapore, South Korea, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Taiwan and Thailand.

The Philippines has been named one of the tiger cub economy together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

It is currently one of Asia's fastest growing economies.

“However, major problems remain, mainly having to do with widening income and growth disparities between the country's different regions and socio-economic classes, difficulty in reducing corruption and investing in the infrastructure necessary to ensure future growth.”

Offshoring and outsourcing
CALL centers, which began in the Philippines as plain providers of email response and managing services, are now a major source of employment.

Call center services include customers relations, ranging from travel services, technical support, education, customer care, financial services, online business to customer support, and online business to business support.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is regarded as one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

The Philippines is also considered as location of choice due to its many outsourcing benefits such as less expensive operational and labor costs and high proficiency in spoken English and highly educated labor pool.

In 2011, the Business Process Outsourcing industry in the Philippines generated 700,000 jobs and some US$11 billion in revenue, which was 24% higher versus that of 2010’s.

By 2016, the industry is projected to reach USS27.4 billion in revenue, with employment generation to almost double at 1.3 million workers.

(Information stated above courtesy of “Latest News on Philippine Economy” website and Wikipedia [Free encyclopedia] website.)

AS CO-FOUNDERS of Mambulaoans Worldwide Buzz (MWBuzz), your online news tunnel, we share the same vision of hope and aspirations and that is to see that investment in employable education expands.

We recently received a YouTube video of a Philippine documentary from someone who was obviously touched by what he saw from the video.

The documentary, which was titled The Definitions of Lower, Upper and Middle Classes, ( noted two families of differing economic status telling of poignant stories in their lives.

One lives in Manila's poorest neighborhood of Tondo while the middle class family was re-evaluating the future of their son and newly-born daughter.

But both shared the same vision of hope and aspiration and that is to make investment in right "employable" education”.

Jennilyn Flores, a 24-year-old single who lives with her mother, a married sister and her family candidly said: “Someday, I will get out of this kind of place when I have my college education.

“I don't want to be like them (referring to the Tondo dump site neighborhood and the trash-scavenging life of the people) and as my father had said before he died: ‘Don't forget to look after the family’.”

With six children and another one coming, Rosalie and Eduardo had to make do with P1,010.00  (roughly US$ 22.95) they earned every two days of work.

And yet all they think of was "awa ito ni Lord".

“Sana ang mga anak namin ay hindi na tumulad sa amin na maraming anak … at sana makatapos silang lahat ng pag-aaral. (Lord's blessings, and we are hoping our children would not follow in our footsteps with having lots of children and we’re looking forward that they all earn their proper education.), Rosalie said.

For Gino and Rose, who both came from modest-earning families, it was their dream to excel after school and to be rewarded with good jobs later.

“I see the future of our children with so much optimism … the opportunity we look forward to provide good and proper education.”

To the couple, this is the priority.

(Transcript of statements from persons in the story [Ms Jennilyn Flores, Rosalie and Eduardo , Gino and Rose]  were all taken from the YouTube video of the Philippine documentary: The Definitions of Lower, Middle and Upper Classes.) 

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